AMERICAN CHOP SUEY WITH VEGGIE SAUSAGE
Bite-size rigatoni topped with a smoky garlic tomato sauce, followed by a saute of veggie sausage, green and sweet red pepper. Sprinkled with fresh ginger sticks! A must have once a week meal at home or restaurant!
Serves 6 with extra sauce
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
28 oz. can diced tomatoes in puree (if you only have diced tomatoes in liquid, then add 2 tablespoons tomato paste)
28 oz. can tomato sauce
1 T. liquid smoke
2 t. garlic powder
2 t. smoked paprika
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/4 t. red cayenne pepper
Combine all sauce ingredients in large saucepan. Stir well to dissolved spices and incorporate oil.
Bring to soft boil, then reduce heat and cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sausage Veggie Saute:
1/4 c. corn oil
1 lg. green pepper, cut into matchstick size pieces
1 lg. sweet red pepper, cut into matchstick size pieces
1 jumbo sweet onion, cut into thin quarter rings
1 t. salt
14 oz. tube Gimme Lean Veggie Sausage, thawed
In extra-large skillet, over medium heat, melt oil.
Add peppers, onion and salt, then saute till partially wilted.
Pinch off pieces of veggie sausage into skillet with peppers and onion. Pat down a little and don’t turn till bottoms are browned. Stir, then break into smaller pieces with end of pancake turner. Brown on most sides, stirring often. Since the veggie sausage is already salty, you probably won’t need any more, but you decide. Cook till veggie sausage firms up nicely.
16 oz. pkg. dried bite-size rigatoni pasta (or any pasta you like, keeping in mind that the topping is hearty), cooked in salted boiling water till tender; drain well.
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced, then cut into thin sticks – for edible garnish
Assembly: Spoon pasta into individual serving bowls/plates. Top generously with sauce. Top sauce with veggie sausage mixture, then sprinkle all with ginger sticks. Serve.
Notes: My mother used to make a macaroni dish that she called American Chop Suey. She made a tomato sauce with green pepper, onion and hamburg plus Italian seasoning and garlic. She then mixed it into cooked elbow macaroni. We all loved it.
As you can see I varied it by separating the sauce from the meat, and of course used a veggie meat instead of animal meat. The veggie sausage rather than veggie hamburg crumbs made a big positive difference. The smoke in the sauce plus the added feature of fresh ginger took it over the top delicious and satisfying, producing a ‘can’t wait to have this again’ conclusion from both my husband and myself.
For the sauce I decided not to use herbs, as I would in most tomato sauces, with excellent results. Actually it’s my new favorite tomato sauce. The smoked paprika, liquid smoke, garlic and a little heat from the red cayenne was all it needed.
Ginger goes well with tomato sauce, so don’t be afraid to try it.